A U.S. district judge on October 2, 2013, brushed aside claims by EPA and the Luminant Corp. that information related to pollution from the company's coal-burning power plants was "confidential business information" — which seems to be a growing excuse for withholding public-interest information.
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Under law, Pennsylvania was supposed to publish a report outlining climate change impacts on the state by Spring 2012. But the Department of Environmental Protection says it is still being reviewed, and nobody will say when it might be published.Region:
See the list of US nuclear facilities that could be endangered by dam failure, thanks to a document that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission does not want to release, made public by the Huffington Post. Watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsiblity filed suit August 15, 2013, under the FOIA to force the NRC to disclose more of what it knows.
Remember that March 29, 2013, oil pipeline spill that slimed a major piece of Mayflower, Arkansas? Well we now learn that neither Mayflower residents nor the US public are allowed to know how Exxon planned to clean up such a spill.
One reason proof of harm is hard to find is that drillers pay people to keep quiet. Now the unsealing of a once-confidential settlement in Pennsylvania gives a clear view of how the silencing works. The 17-page, two-year-old settlement agreement includes a $750,000 payment to a family critical of fracking, saying they became sick, as well as a gag order that applies to their 7- and 10-year-old children for the rest of their lives.
Here's more evidence of why documents should be leaked to reporters: a Powerpoint obtained by LA Times' Neela Banerjee shows EPA's Region 3 staff argued a year ago for continuing its investigation of fracking pollution around Dimock, PA — as EPA HQ announced it was ending its study of Dimock wells. Now there's an echo in Pavillion, WY.Region:
Studies by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health show silica used in hydraulic fracturing of tight oil and gas formations can endanger workers. But a FOIA request seeking to know the sites where workers had been endangered has met with no response, independent journalist and SEJ member Elizabeth Grossman reports.
A doughty, Pulitzer-winning publication is insisting the public has a right to know when pipeline companies are profiting by endangering people's lives, health, and property. InsideClimate News is pushing back against oil companies and federal regulators who say reports on pipeline flaws and hazards are trade secrets.Region:
After a decade of neglect, the NPMS is partly back online and marginally functional. Parts of it don't even work. But if you want to get a general clue about the location of major natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines in your community, the NPMS is one place to start. And, there are other ways to get the info you need.
Exxon claims trade secrecy in its bid to hide inspection results for the pipeline that leaked 5,000 barrels of Canadian oil sands crude in Arkansas last spring, spurring debate over transparency and spill readiness. EnergyWire's Elana Schor has the story, raising questions that have still to be answered.